Pay Attention

December 3rd: Pay Attention

I posted a link to a video on Facebook yesterday, and pretty much everyone ignored it- look, I’m not blaming them. Few people can tolerate my weird obsession with animated films (especially Frozen and Moana, but also How to Train Your Dragon- the whole series) and probably they are all a little weirded out by the way I identify so much with the songs…oh yeah, the link I posted was to the song “Show Yourself” from Frozen 2. I didn’t even pay much attention to the song during the movie- I was too busy being totally blown away by the movie! But, yesterday, when I got in the car, instead of my podcast turning on, that song played itself from my Apple music list.

Anyway, as I listened to it, I just…started crying. I know, embarrassing, right? Camryn, who was in the backseat thought so. Whatever. After I dropped her off at school, I listened to it three more times on the way home. When I got home, I listened to it several more times, then watched the video on YouTube. I wasn’t sure why I kept listening, over and over, choking up every time. Then I realized something- the song was Elsa, singing to herself- the person she was looking for was her TRUE self. You know, I also used to get like that when I heard the song from Moana “How Far I’ll Go”. Another song about venturing out, beyond the places and things that are expected of you. Another song about self-discovery and pushing limits.

Do you see a theme here? I mean, other than the theme of me being a hopeless, sappy nerd?

If you can’t see it, I’ll just tell you- when I hear these songs, these beautiful stories set to music, they speak to my soul. To my heart. And my particular heart and soul have always longed desperately to roam and explore and see the world and see…everything that I can. My particular heart and soul have been longing to just be me, whoever that is, for my whole life. I have been all of these other things- this lost, screwed up woman trying to overcome addiction and trauma. This stable, dependable person I am today, checking all the boxes and coloring within the lines- (as much as I am able to). I have proven to myself that I am strong, and that I am capable. And now it is time for me to start becoming who I am and start pushing beyond what is expected of me.

If you pay attention, your heart and soul are always trying to speak to you. Maybe it’s a dumb (beautiful) Disney song, or some other song. Maybe it’s a commercial on TV that makes you choke up, or a line from a book that you can’t get out of your head and you aren’t sure why. Take the time to examine those things- in my experience, this is how our spirits speak to us. Little hints and hunches, tears in our eyes, shivers up our spines. It’s worth examining. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have adventures to plan. 😊


November 3rd: Wonder

This morning, as I sat down to meditate, my head kept filling itself with visions of the life that awaits me just down the road. Moonlight on snow, a sky full of stars, the distinct, salty scent of the Atlantic Ocean. I would chase the thoughts away, return to my breath, and just as quickly, more pictures would dance through my head- crackling fires in a cozy living room, June Saturday’s that are greener than the greenest thing you’ve ever seen, ferry boats and navy seas, lighthouses and briny air.

In my chest, my heart stirred and swelled with excitement, anticipation, and…wonder. I know that my breath was supposed to be my anchor, that I was not really supposed to be delighting quite so much in those daydreams- not then, anyway, not during meditation…but so what? Maybe today, that was exactly the meditation that I needed.

How often, as adults, do we get swept away with wonder? Less and less, it seems, at least for me. Our lives and our routines are not constructed in such a way to leave much room for moments where we simply marvel at the deliciousness of life. And even if we did have a few moments to spare, minutes we didn’t feel obligated to use up folding laundry or pulling up the garbage cans from the curb, more than likely we’d spend them with our eyes glued to our phone screen.

Quite frankly, I think that’s just sad. I think we all ought to work a little bit harder to bring that sense of wonder into our lives. I mean seriously, what in the hell is the point, even, of a life that is spent simply trying to survive? And if not trying to survive, then we are trying to get to the next level, then the next, then…then what? Then we’re old, and we die rich if we’re lucky?

Pardon my language, but FUCK that. When I think about this move looming in the future for me, I’m not thinking about work or establishing a routine or leveling up or checking my Instagram. I’m thinking of the joy of discovering new places, the memories I might get to make, the adventure I will have. I am thinking about rainstorms and laughter, new friends I might make and stories to tell. I am thinking about all of the things that, for me, make a life worth living. And that…that fills me with wonder.

Today, think about the last time you were filled with wonder. Was it a particularly perfect sunset? A breathtaking full moon? Maybe it was staring at the face of your sleeping child or turning a corner to find a view that just stopped you dead in your tracks. Maybe it was just a shaft of sunlight dancing across the floor. Think about how it made you feel, and how you really ought to have moments like that every single day, at least once. Then ask yourself how. How can you invite that sense of anticipation, awe, and joy to show up? What can you do? The answer will be different for each of us, but for sure it is in there somewhere. When it comes to you, listen.